Sightseeing-里編

Seibu Rindo Forest Path

 Seibu Rindo Forest Path is located in the western part of Yakushima Island, 90 minutes from the airport by car. A primeval forest of Yakusugi cedar trees, Yakutanegoyo pine trees, and a laurel forest are just some sights that you may see while walking through the “green tunnel”, a thick canopy of tree branches covering the path. Also, you may encounter some oddly shaped trees damaged by past typhoons. The upper part of this area has a primeval forest that remains untouched.

 

Yakushima Ryokoson (Youth Travel Village)

Yakushima Ryokoson is located near Kurio Beach, 80 minutes from the airport by car. There are nine log bungalows each with a bathroom and kitchen. There is also a campsite with kitchens and latrines. You can also enjoy a leisurely walk in the village that has a walking trail, park, and arbors. In summer you can enjoy a canoe trip on Kurio River.

 

Shakunage-no-mori Park (Rhododendron Park)

 Rhododendron Park is located about 80 minutes from Yakushima Airport. There are 3,500 rhododendrons including the Yakushima Rhododendron. You can see rare indigenous plants of Yakushima and hear the rushing Kurio River along the boardwalk, an oasis for the visitors.

 

Nakama Gajumaru banyan tree

 Nakama Gajumaru Banyan tree is located about 75 minutes by car from Yakushima Airport. The giant Gajumaru Banyan tree can be seen just as you enter Nakama Village on the prefectural road standing by Nakama Bridge. The banyan tree is an example of the strangler fig. Nakama Gajumaru Banyan tree has many aerial roots that are hard to tell apart from the trunk. Yakushima is the most northern habitat for the Gajumaru Banyan tree in Japan.

 

Pon-tan kan (a local product shop)

 Pon-tan kan is located along the prefectural road between Hara and Mugio Village, about 40 minutes from Yakushima Airport by car. The official name for this shop is “Yakushima Town Magokoro-ichi Pon-tan-kan”. Many of Yakushima’s products such as “Ponkan” and “Tankan” (citrus fruits), juice, ice cream, and sweets made by the local residents can be purchased. You can also buy various special products and souvenirs.

 

Yakusugi Museum

 Yakusugi Museum is located at Harumaki Village, about 40 minutes by car from the airport. As you enter the museum you will notice the entrance hall made of Yakusugi and the aroma coming from it. You will also find a display panel illustrating some research-based information on the features of Yakushima, the formation of the forest, and the history of the Yakusugi cedar industry along with other information. A branch of Jomon-sugi, broken off by snow, is also on exhibition. You can also have an in-depth overview of Yakushima Island through films and other materials. There is a gift shop where you can find woodwork made from various trees of Yakushima and books about the nature of Yakushima.

 

Yakushima Comprehensive Nature Park

Yakushima Comprehensive Nature Park can be visited on the way to Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, about 35 minutes by car from the airport. The park features an open area with an open-air stage. Fireflies can be seen from May to June near a clear stream along the park. Near the park, a botanical garden with many plants including indigenous alpine plants and beautiful flowers can be enjoyed year round. You may purchase various plants such as Yakushima Shakunage (Rhododendrons), Sakura Tsutsuji (azaleas), Asebi (Japanese andromedas), and Gajumaru Banyans.

 

Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center

 Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center is located near Miyanoura Port, about 30 minutes by car from the airport. It is a comprehensive facility offering attendant interpretation, a powerful presentation, and a large-scale screen for learning about the nature, environment, life, and culture of Yakushima. We recommend that you visit here first when arriving on Yakushima.

 

Shitoko Gajumaru Banyan Park

Shitoko Gajumaru Banyan Park is located next to Shitoko Port, about 40 minutes by car from the airport. It is the largest Gajumaru banyan park in Yakushima. You can see many tropical plants such as banyan trees and “Kuwazuimo”, Hawaiian giant taro. Above all, you will be amazed of the gigantic banyan tree over 500 years old. You can buy passion fruit juice at a store next to the entrance.

 

Yakushima Town History and Folk Museum

 Yakushima Town History and Folk Museum is located in Miyanoura, 25 minutes by car from the airport. It has a mixed exhibition of real objects such as farming implements and a fishing boat for catching flying fish. Also there are many pictures, panels, and models introducing the past life of the islanders. Methods used in cutting down the massive Yakusugi cedar trees and explanations on long line fishing are just some of the things you can see. It is one of the few places where visitors can learn not only about nature but also about the life and history of Yakushima.

 

Yaku Shrine

 Yaku Shrine is located in Miyanoura, about 30 minutes by car from the airport. This shrine was established in 806 A.D. as a guardian of both Tanegashima Island and Yakushima Island. It enshrines “Amatsuhikohohodeminomikoto” or “Yamasachihiko” as the main deity and is considered as one of the most prestigious shrines in Kagoshima prefecture. There is a pair of statues, Kongorikishi-Agyo (opened-mouthed) and Ungyo (closed mouthed) in the precinct. They were made during the Tenpo era (1830 – 1844) and are designated as the town cultural assets.

 

Nagori-no-matsubara Pine Park

 Nagori-no-matsubara Pine Park is located at the entrance of Miyanoura Port, 30 minutes by car from the airport. Interestingly, the name “Nagori-no-matsubara” has two explanations concerning its origin. “nagori” means remnant or vestige and “matsubara” means pine grove. One explanation says that the name came from people seeing off ships leaving the port. The other explanation was that there was a large pine grove there after World War II. A monument erected in 1993 marking the registration of Yakushima as a World Natural Heritage site can also be seen here.

 

The East China Sea Viewpoint

 The East China Sea Viewpoint is located between Isso Village and Yoshida Village, about 50 minutes by car from the airport. A panoramic view of the East China Sea and beautiful sunsets can be seen from this point. On a clear day you can even see Kuchinoerabujima and Ioujima islands.